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Free legal clinic for veterans in Richmond

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 18:43

Veterans in need of legal advice or assistance can visit a free clinic on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Volunteer attorneys will give any veteran or spouse of a deceased veteran one-on-one advice in any area of law, including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate law, tax law, and disability and veterans benefits. Veterans in need of ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid may be assigned a pro bono attorney.

No appointment is necessary.

The clinic will be held at the Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic, 22001 SW Fwy., Ste. 200, Richmond 77469, and is a public service of the Fort Bend Lawyers Care, the Fort Bend County Bar Association, and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative.

For more information, call the Veterans Legal Initiative at (713) 759-1133 or go to hba.org.

To view a list of other free veteran legal clinics around the state, please go to the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans website at texasbar.com/veterans.

Newest attorneys sworn in to Texas Bar

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 21:47

Texas’ newest lawyers were inducted into the State Bar of Texas on Monday, May 13 at the Frank Irwin Center in Austin.

The Supreme Court of Texas and State Bar of Texas welcomed the state’s newest members of the profession May 13 at the Frank Irwin Center in Austin.

Texas’ highest courts, the State Bar, the Texas Board of Law Examiners, law school deans, and friends and family looked on as newly licensed attorneys took the Lawyer’s Oath during Monday morning’s New Lawyer Induction Ceremony.

State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley commended the inductees for their initiative, saying “[y]our presence here today demonstrates that people confident in their destiny do no wait to be sent for.”

State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley emphasized the importance of the new attorneys’ commitment to equal access to justice, explaining that they are joining an organization of more than 103,000 attorneys who have chosen the destiny of supporting the cause. He pointed to joining State Bar sections for network and pro bono opportunities as ways to get started.

Longley reminded the inductees that the oath they take is one that stays with them 24/7, guiding them as they promote civility, professionalism, and adherence to the rule of law, not just when it is convenient to them.  The words in the oath, he said, will be needed as the new attorneys seek their destiny within this chosen profession.

“Your presence here today demonstrates that people confident in their destiny do not wait to be sent for,” he said. “You’re already here and you knew how to get here and I congratulate you for that.”

Texas Young Lawyers Association President Sally Pretorius encouraged the inductees to use being underrated to their advantage.

Texas Young Lawyers Association President Sally Pretorius offered advice to the new lawyers based on themes of self-care, taking advantage of being underestimated, and protecting one’s reputation.

“As you guys sit here today, please remember you only get one shot to build your reputation,” she said. “One small lie; one little white lie—judges remember that. Your employers remember that. Your paralegals remember that. Your co-associates remember that and your opposing counsel remembers that.”

The TYLA president also encouraged the new lawyers to not get weighed down by their lack of experience. Pretorius told the group that opposing counsel in her first hearing was a seasoned board certified attorney. But Pretorius out-prepared her opponent, making sure she knew the law and that her witnesses were prepared, and she won.

“Just because we are young attorneys doesn’t mean that we don’t know what we are doing and that doesn’t mean that we don’t know the law and what’s best for our client,” she said. “So remember to always use the power of underestimation in your favor.”

Round Rock-based attorney Melanie McCammon, the Bar Exam’s highest scorer, praised her fellow inductees, saying they “have the ability to think critically, analytically, creatively to take the facts that you’re given and question them and solve problems not just in the courtroom or across a negotiation table but in social media or whatever life throws at you.”

The Bar Exam’s highest scorer, Round Rock-based attorney Melanie McCammon, thanked her coworkers and friends and family, especially her son, Isaac, who she called her inspiration, and her husband, Jack. She also thanked all the people in the audience who supported the inductees. “What we have accomplished was very hard by any measure and I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself but for most of you or all of you when I say it would have been even harder without the love and support of the people sitting here with us today.

McCammon, a graduate of New York University School of Law in 2010, drew from her experiences taking the bar exams in both New York and Texas and how her perspective has shifted from her previous outlook on taking the tests.

The first time I looked at this as just a stepping-stone in my career. It was something to get over—a hurdle to jump over. Now I see that it’s a huge achievement all by itself. I encourage you to take some time to really revel in this achievement. It says a lot about who you are and what you are capable of. First it shows you can think like a lawyer. You have the ability to think critically, analytically, creatively to take the facts that you’re given and question them and solve problems not just in the courtroom or across a negotiation table but in social    media or whatever life throws at you.

She called the skills the inductees have developed—such as being able to teach themselves something or the ability to make things happen instead of waiting around—superpowers and told them it will allow them to keep up with the constantly changing world.

Texas Supreme Court Nathan L. Hecht delivered the New Lawyer Oath.

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht congratulated the inductees, welcoming them to the profession and reminding them of their duties going forward. The first part of the New Lawyer Oath, he said before administering it, charges them with supporting the U.S. and Texas constitutions, honestly demeaning themselves in practice, and discharging their duties to their clients to the best of their abilities. The second tasks lawyers with conducting themselves with civility and integrity in dealing with the court and all parties.

“From this day forward, you are the voice and the instrument for the rule of law,” Hecht said. “Whether you are prosecuting or defending an individual charged with transgressions against society; representing a party in a civil dispute; drafting a contract, a deed, or a will; or giving other legal counsel to a client; everything you do contributes to a republic in which the rights to life, liberty, and property have displaced reliance on class, heredity, wealth, and military might.”

To watch video of the New Lawyers Induction, go to the State Bar of Texas’ YouTube channel.

State Bar of Texas responds to lawsuit with strong constitutional defense

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 13:36

On May 13, the State Bar of Texas laid out almost six decades of U.S Supreme Court precedent establishing the constitutionality of its structure in response to a lawsuit filed against the bar. The State Bar’s filings explain that the bar — as an arm of the government — has a statutory obligation to regulate the legal profession and improve the quality of legal services in Texas.

You can read the State Bar’s cross-motion for summary judgment here. Go to texasbar.com/mcdonaldvlongley to read other filings in the case.

What Evan Thomas Taught Me . . . By Way of Sandra Day O’Connor

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 14:54

By Rocky Dhir 
Host of the 
State Bar of Texas Podcast and President & CEO of Atlas Legal Research, LP

As a vegetarian, salmon mousse shouldn’t intrigue me, but it does now. I even Googled images of what it looks like, having never eaten it myself. My newfound interest in salmon mousse places me in the company of Ken Starr, Jonathan Rose, and Sandra Day O’Connor. The latter three actually ate the confection, together, in fact. The year was 1981; Starr and Rose traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, on behalf of the Department of Justice to interview O’Connor for possible nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.,After two hours of quizzing O’Connor about her judicial philosophy and the Arizona appellate decisions she had authored, it was lunchtime.The temperature in Phoenix stood at a searing 101 degrees. O’Connor quickly switched from judge, former legislator, accomplished lawyer, and Stanford Law graduate to hostess. She “fixed” lunch and whipped up—you guessed it—salmon mousse. Her juxtaposition of penetrating intellect with grace and charm left Starr and Rose convinced that O’Connor was the only nominee candidate that mattered. President Ronald Reagan would call a short time later to offer the nomination, paving her historic rise to becoming the first female Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.

I wish I could say I learned the foregoing story on my own by dint of an inquisitive mind.  But if I am being honest (and as lawyers, we are supposed to be honest), I learned the story from Evan Thomas, author of the newly published biography of Justice O’Connor simply and elegantly titled First. Reading its pages left me transfixed and transported to a time in our nation’s history when the thought of a female justice was both revolutionary and yet long overdue. More importantly, though, the book highlights the tolerance and tenacity with which Justice O’Connor navigated the male-dominated world of lawyering and lawmaking. In the process, Justice O’Connor—through Thomas’ expert prose—teaches us about the importance of forging relationships, a craft that she mastered and one that served her well alongside her undeniable intelligence.

I had the honor of interviewing Evan Thomas for the State Bar of Texas Podcast. I came away convinced that the author was just as interesting as the subject he chose. He has met many of the newsmakers of our time and knows them well. Like Justice O’Connor, Thomas knows how to form and maintain consequential relationships. He and Justice O’Connor have something else in common: amazing and supportive marriages in which each spouse supports and propels the other. In the podcast interview, Thomas recounted the serendipitous journey that, with his wife’s help, led to him authoring this insight into one of the deafeningly quiet pioneers in the movement toward greater equality. Thomas was kind enough to provide his candid views on how social change comes about and the lengths to which O’Connor deftly managed the obstacles that stood in the way between her and destiny. I must confess, too, that I was surprised when Thomas mentioned a trait of O’Connor’s that has been in the legal vernacular more often of late: civility. Sandra Day O’Connor was possessed of a civility that served to strengthen her charismatic hold on those who knew her.

First has taken its place in the pantheon of my favorite books, and I intend to read it anew at my leisure and on my terms. I think that’s how Justice O’Connor would prefer it. I would highly recommend that you subscribe to the State Bar of Texas Podcast and listen in on the discussion (please leave your comments and feedback as well, and be sure to browse the other episodes to see what treasures await you). You should also pick up a copy of First, which you can find out more about here. You might not be able to put the book down, which could mean that you will lose some billable hours. Trust me, you won’t miss them.

Evan Willing Thomas III is a journalist, historian, and author. He is the author of ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. He has taught at Harvard and Princeton and, for 20 years, was a regular panelist on Inside Edition, a weekly public affairs TV show.

Dallas Bar Association receives Texas Bar Foundation grant for legal incubator

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 13:00

The Dallas Bar Association, or DBA, received a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to launch its Entrepreneurs in Community Lawyering program this fall.

The Entrepreneurs in Community Lawyering program is the first local legal incubator in Dallas and seeks to create a pipeline for lawyers who are well equipped to launch a fiscally stable solo or small firm that caters to low-income Texans.

The program is one of DBA President Laura Benitez Geisler’s initiatives during her year as president. Participants must be recent law school graduates licensed less than five years and have an interest in starting a solo or small firm serving clients of modest means. Candidates have to complete an application and interview process before being invited to participate. Sustainability of the applicant’s proposed practice area is critical. The program anticipates having eight to 10 lawyers per session.

The Entrepreneurs in Community Lawyering program is inspired by the State Bar’s Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, or TOJI. DBA wanted to follow TOJI’s example of increasing opportunities for young lawyers and middle-income people who need, but cannot afford, a lawyer. Although the program is not exactly the same as TOJI, DBA consulted with Frank Stephenson, who launched TOJI as his initiative as State Bar president; Anne-Marie Rabago, TOJI director; and others involved with the State Bar’s legal incubator.

Interested candidates should contact Kathryn Zack at kzack@dallasbar.org for more information.

For more information on DBA, go to dallasbar.org and for more information on the Texas Bar Foundation, go to txbf.org.

Podcast previews 2019 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 08:55

The latest episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast features a preview of the 2019 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting with Executive Director Trey Apffel and an interview with President Joe K. Longley, who is part of a class of 50-year lawyers who will be honored at the event. Listen here.

Annual Meeting attendees can complete up to a year’s worth of CLE credits in two days for only $295. The early bird registration rate ends May 13. Register here.

Students K-12 take home awards at 2019 Law Day competition

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 18:04

The 2019 Law Day competition, hosted by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, challenged students from across the state to reflect on American principles of free speech, free press, and free society.

The students, ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors, submitted essays, photographs, and posters centered on that theme. The top three winners were recognized in the editorial and photography contests, as well as the top three in the kindergarten to second grade, third to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade, and ninth to 12th grade groups.

More information about the contest and a list of the winners can be found on the State Bar website.

Champions of Justice Gala raises $455,050 for veterans’ legal services

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 17:05

The Texas Access to Justice Commission with its co-sponsor, the State Bar of Texas, honored veterans throughout the state at the Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans on Tuesday in Austin. More than $455,050 was raised to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans.

Proceeds are distributed by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and dedicated to the provision of civil legal services for low-income Texas veterans.

Read the news release.

In Memoriam – April 2019

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 14:00

The State Bar of Texas’ Membership Department was informed in April 2019 of the deaths of these members. We join the officers and directors of the State Bar in expressing our deepest sympathy.

Wendell B. Alcorn Jr., 78, of Williamsburg, Virginia, died September 29, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
Robert W. Alexander, 96, of Muleshoe, died January 31, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1948.
Paige Bailey, 56, of Houston, died November 20, 2018. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1990.
Robert E. Barfield, 89, of Amarillo, died March 19, 2019. He received his law degree from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
Gene Beaty, 73, of Dallas, died December 24, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
Gary Buelow, 74, of Spring, died December 30, 2016. He received his law degree from Indiana University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Alberto Byington Jr., 53, of San Antonio, died August 5, 2017. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1997.
John Campbell, 73, of Montgomery, died November 6, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970.
John E. Chamberlain, 80, of Buchanan Dam, died September 11, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966.
Stanley W. Channell, 71, of Whitefish, Montana, died December 3, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
Donnie Jeanne Coleman, 75, of Junction, died April 4, 2019. She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
William E. Corcoran, 72, of McAllen, died April 6, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976.
Harry L. Durant, 93, of Houston, died March 24, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Judy Frederick, 71, of Austin, died March 3, 2019. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982.
H.D. Garmon, 99, of Greenville, died March 21, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957.
Dominique Gerard, 72, of Clute, died April 15, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Fergus Ginther, 81, of Galena, Missouri, died February 3, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962.
Wesley G. Gish Jr., 86, of San Antonio, died March 26, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960.
Pat Hammonds, 74, of Manchaca, died February 6, 2019. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
Evelyn Conner Hicks, 67, of Dallas, died March 7, 2019. She received her law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Arthur Robert Hinojosa, 78, of Houston, died April 5, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965.
Bernard Hirsh, 102, of Dallas, died April 1, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1939.
John Henry Hofmann, 82, of San Angelo, died March 25, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961.
Robert E. Holmes Jr., 66, of Dallas, died April 12, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981.
William H. Howell, 85, of Midway, died February 21, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
C. Wayne Huff, 68, of Boerne, died April 2, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
Paul C. Isham, 77, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died April 6, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
Robert D. Jones, 80, of Fort Worth, died April 10, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966.
James Donald Kuehn, 73, of Houston, died December 15, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Thomas T. Lasley, 77, of Houston, died August 1, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968.
Bill Ledbetter, 75, of Gainesville, died December 31, 2017. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Jules Lund, 72, of Austin, died March 31, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1975.
Eugene Ray Lyerly, 81, died November 24, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Murray E. Malakoff, 65, of San Antonio, died September 18, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
John D. Marziotti, 55, of Houston, died November 10, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988.
Albert C. McClain, 95, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, died May 26, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962.
Gordon McCool, 75, of Gilmer, died March 18, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972.
William Cameron McCulloch, 79, of Houston, died April 19, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Jack Lee Meyer, 69, of George West, died March 12, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
Bradley C. Miles, 84, of San Angelo, died April 5, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958.
Frank W. Mitchell, 61, of Las Vegas, Nevada, died March 16, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1984.
Howard Frank Moeck Jr., 74, of Dallas, died May 12, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968.
Ben Wesley Niedecken Jr., 89, of Largo, Florida, died March 6, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1956.
Geoffrey Osborn, 58, of Dallas, died April 13, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Fount Ray, 91, of Brownsville, died March 13, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1952.
Jody Roselle, 38, of San Antonio, died April 5, 2019. She received her law degree from Widener University Commonwealth Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2017.
Richard R. Royall, 77, of Austin, died April 9, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
Robert James Talaska, 56, of Houston, died March 31, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988.
Frank M. Teveni, 93, of San Antonio, died November 19, 2018. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958.
Carey Venditti, 50, of Austin, died January 10, 2019. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1993.
Barry L. Wertz, 76, of The Woodlands, died March 22, 2019. He received his law degree from Tulane Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
Richard Leroy Westlake, 87, of Midland, died April 3, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1955.
Blake Williams, 69, of Austin, died November 28, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Elliot Wohl, 80, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, died February 16, 2019. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1993.

If you would like to have a memorial for a loved one published in the Texas Bar Journal, please go to texasbar.com/memorials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Texas Bar Journal at (512) 427-1701 or toll-free at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1701.

In Memoriam – April 2019

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 14:00

The State Bar of Texas’ Membership Department was informed in April 2019 of the deaths of these members. We join the officers and directors of the State Bar in expressing our deepest sympathy.

Wendell B. Alcorn Jr., 78, of Williamsburg, Virginia, died September 29, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
Robert W. Alexander, 96, of Muleshoe, died January 31, 2017. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1948.
Paige Bailey, 56, of Houston, died November 20, 2018. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1990.
Robert E. Barfield, 89, of Amarillo, died March 19, 2019. He received his law degree from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1969.
Gene Beaty, 73, of Dallas, died December 24, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1971.
Gary Buelow, 74, of Spring, died December 30, 2016. He received his law degree from Indiana University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Alberto Byington Jr., 53, of San Antonio, died August 5, 2017. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1997.
John Campbell, 73, of Montgomery, died November 6, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1970.
John E. Chamberlain, 80, of Buchanan Dam, died September 11, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966.
Stanley W. Channell, 71, of Whitefish, Montana, died December 3, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
Donnie Jeanne Coleman, 75, of Junction, died April 4, 2019. She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
William E. Corcoran, 72, of McAllen, died April 6, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1976.
Harry L. Durant, 93, of Houston, died March 24, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Judy Frederick, 71, of Austin, died March 3, 2019. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1982.
H.D. Garmon, 99, of Greenville, died March 21, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1957.
Dominique Gerard, 72, of Clute, died April 15, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Fergus Ginther, 81, of Galena, Missouri, died February 3, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962.
Wesley G. Gish Jr., 86, of San Antonio, died March 26, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1960.
Pat Hammonds, 74, of Manchaca, died February 6, 2019. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
Evelyn Conner Hicks, 67, of Dallas, died March 7, 2019. She received her law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Arthur Robert Hinojosa, 78, of Houston, died April 5, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1965.
Bernard Hirsh, 102, of Dallas, died April 1, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1939.
John Henry Hofmann, 82, of San Angelo, died March 25, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1961.
Robert E. Holmes Jr., 66, of Dallas, died April 12, 2019. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1981.
William H. Howell, 85, of Midway, died February 21, 2019. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
C. Wayne Huff, 68, of Boerne, died April 2, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1974.
Paul C. Isham, 77, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died April 6, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
Robert D. Jones, 80, of Fort Worth, died April 10, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1966.
James Donald Kuehn, 73, of Houston, died December 15, 2018. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1980.
Thomas T. Lasley, 77, of Houston, died August 1, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968.
Bill Ledbetter, 75, of Gainesville, died December 31, 2017. He received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Jules Lund, 72, of Austin, died March 31, 2019. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1975.
Eugene Ray Lyerly, 81, died November 24, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Murray E. Malakoff, 65, of San Antonio, died September 18, 2018. He received his law degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1979.
John D. Marziotti, 55, of Houston, died November 10, 2018. He received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988.
Albert C. McClain, 95, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, died May 26, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1962.
Gordon McCool, 75, of Gilmer, died March 18, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1972.
William Cameron McCulloch, 79, of Houston, died April 19, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1964.
Jack Lee Meyer, 69, of George West, died March 12, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1978.
Bradley C. Miles, 84, of San Angelo, died April 5, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958.
Frank W. Mitchell, 61, of Las Vegas, Nevada, died March 16, 2019. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1984.
Howard Frank Moeck Jr., 74, of Dallas, died May 12, 2018. He received his law degree from Baylor Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1968.
Ben Wesley Niedecken Jr., 89, of Largo, Florida, died March 6, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1956.
Geoffrey Osborn, 58, of Dallas, died April 13, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1985.
Fount Ray, 91, of Brownsville, died March 13, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1952.
Jody Roselle, 38, of San Antonio, died April 5, 2019. She received her law degree from Widener University Commonwealth Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2017.
Richard R. Royall, 77, of Austin, died April 9, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1967.
Robert James Talaska, 56, of Houston, died March 31, 2019. He received his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1988.
Frank M. Teveni, 93, of San Antonio, died November 19, 2018. He received his law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1958.
Carey Venditti, 50, of Austin, died January 10, 2019. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1993.
Barry L. Wertz, 76, of The Woodlands, died March 22, 2019. He received his law degree from Tulane Law School and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1973.
Richard Leroy Westlake, 87, of Midland, died April 3, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1955.
Blake Williams, 69, of Austin, died November 28, 2018. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1986.
Elliot Wohl, 80, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, died February 16, 2019. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1993.

If you would like to have a memorial for a loved one published in the Texas Bar Journal, please go to texasbar.com/memorials. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Texas Bar Journal at (512) 427-1701 or toll-free at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1701.

May must-reads

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 10:00

The heat is back, but we’re not talking about the weather. The May issue of the Texas Bar Journal hits mailboxes soon, but if you’re looking for a head start, we have you covered. Check out our editorial staff’s top picks: ABA TECHSHOW takeaways, pro bono opportunities in Alaska’s 2018 earthquake disaster response, an overview of the Uniform Bar Exam, and a skateboarding attorney’s penchant for layback grinds and trial advocacy. And don’t forget to read Movers and Shakers, Memorials, and Disciplinary Actions.

New From the Start-Up Alley
What I learned from this year’s ABA TECHSHOW.
By Mark I. Unger

Pro Bono Texas: 61.2181° N, 149.9003° W
A story of hope and help.
By Hannah Allison

The Uniform Bar Examination Is Coming to Texas
A preliminary look at what will be covered.
By Susan Henricks

Easy Roller
An Austin skateboarding lawyers talks layback grinds and the adrenaline rush of trial advocacy.

Interview by Eric Quitugua

New Texas lawyers to be sworn in May 13

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 09:00

The State Bar of Texas’ newest attorneys will be officially sworn in May 13 at the State Bar of Texas New Lawyers Induction Ceremony in Austin.

Those who passed the February 2019 Texas Bar Examination are eligible to be inducted at the event, which will be at 10 a.m. at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Doors open at 9 a.m.

Parking options
• State Visitors Lot—1201 San Jacinto, between 12th and 13th streets
• University of Texas Parking Trinity Garage—1815 Trinity Street, between Trinity Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard
• University of Texas Parking Health Center Garage—1601 Trinity Street, between 15th and Trinity streets

When sharing photos on social media during the event, make sure to use the hashtag #NewTXLawyer. If you can’t attend the event, you can follow along live on the State Bar’s Facebook page.

If you have any questions, contact the State Bar Membership Department at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1383, or (512) 427-1383.

Larry McDougal elected State Bar of Texas president-elect for 2019-2020

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 20:06

Texas attorneys elected Larry P. McDougal Sr. of Richmond as 2019-2020 president-elect of the State Bar of Texas.

McDougal received 52 percent of the 24,252 votes cast during the month-long voting period that ended April 30. His opponent, Jeanne Cezanne “Cezy” Collins of El Paso, received 47 percent of the votes.

In the Texas Young Lawyers Association election, Britney Harrison of Dallas was elected TYLA president-elect. Harrison received 59 percent of the 4,550 votes cast, while her opponent, Tim Newman, also of Dallas, received 40 percent.

Read the news release. View the complete results.

Free legal clinic for veterans in Texas City

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 15:04

Veterans in need of legal advice can get free consultations at a legal clinic at the Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic on Saturday, May 4.

Veterans or spouses of deceased veterans can receive counsel from volunteer attorneys in any area of law, including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate law, and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits. A pro bono attorney may be assigned to veterans who need ongoing legal representation and qualify for legal aid.

Appointments are not necessary.

The clinic, a service of the Galveston County Bar Association, the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon and is located at 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expy., Ste. 206, Texas City 77591.

For more information, contact the Veterans Legal Initiative at (713) 759-1133 or go to hba.org/vli.

To view a list of other free veteran legal clinics around the state, please go to the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans webpage at texasbar.com/veterans.

Week of May 1-7 designated as National Proud to Be an American Week

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 10:00

The National Day Archives, or NDA, has officially designated the week of May 1-7 of each calendar year as National Proud to Be an American Week.

“We are so excited to release this year’s signature project, Proud to Be an American,” said Meagan Harding, of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. “There are so many rights and privileges that we can enjoy in this country, and we wanted to highlight those as well as showcase people from diverse backgrounds who enrich this country and enhance our collective experience.”

In April 2019, TYLA submitted a proposal to NDA, which has now also added National Proud to Be an American Week to its website and included it on the site calendar.

“We are a beautifully diverse nation made up of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences,” Harding said. “We enjoy unique rights and privileges and Proud to Be an American helps students to learn about our constitution, some of our history, and some of our legal rights while also viewing reflections from people who esteem and contribute to our country.”

For more information about TYLA, go to tyla.org. For more information on the NDA, go to NationalDayArchives.com.

State Bar of Texas Board Update

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 14:56

Editor’s note: State Bar President Joe K. Longley sent the following message to members on Friday. 

Joe K. Longley

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting today in Georgetown. Highlights from the meeting are provided below.

Proposed rules changes move forward
The Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda (CDRR) has recommended rule change proposals pursuant to Government Code section 81.0876. The proposals relate to the following:

  • Rule 1.02 Scope and Objectives of Representation and Rule 1.16 Clients with Diminished Capacity, and
  • Rule 1.05 Confidentiality of Information

The proposed changes were published in the Texas Bar Journal and the Texas Register. The CDRR held a public hearing and solicited and considered public comments on each proposed change before voting in November to recommend the proposals to the State Bar board.

The board voted today to approve the changes and to hold them for submission to the Texas Supreme Court at a later date with other proposed rules as deemed appropriate by the board. Ultimately, the board will petition the Texas Supreme Court to order a referendum on the proposed rules as provided by section 81.0878. To read the proposed changes, go to texasbar.com/CDRR and select “Docketed Requests.”

Budget proceeds to Supreme Court
The board approved the proposed 2019-2020 fiscal year budget for presentation to the Supreme Court. For the second straight year, the proposed budget will hold total general fund expenditures to under $44 million without a reduction in State Bar programs or services.

New board chair elected
The board elected Dallas director Jerry C. Alexander as chair of the State Bar board for 2019-2020. He will be sworn in as chair at the board’s June 13 meeting in Austin.

Public member sworn in
Directors welcomed a new public member, Jeffrey W. Allison of Houston, who was appointed by the Supreme Court to a term on the board expiring in 2020. Mr. Allison is the regulatory manager for Kinder Morgan Midstream. He replaces Joe “Rice” Horkey Jr. of Lubbock, whose term had expired.

Two at-large directors appointed
The board appointed two at-large directors—Andrés E. Almanzán of El Paso and Luis M. Cardenas of Edinburg—to three-year terms beginning in June. They will replace Angelica Hernandez of Houston and Rudolph “Rudy” K. Metayer of Austin, whose terms are expiring.

Resolution presented
The board honored former 3rd Court of Appeals Justice Cindy Olson Bourland of Round Rock for her commitment to the legal profession and the rule of law and her service to the judiciary and all Texans. In addition to her work as a lawyer and a judge, Justice Bourland has been very involved in local and state bar activities, including serving as president of the Austin Young Lawyers Association.

If you have any questions about the board meeting, please let me know. For more information on the board or to read meeting agendas and materials, go to texasbar.com/board.

 

With kindest regards,

Joe K. Longley 
President, State Bar of Texas 2018-2019
Joe.Longley@texasbar.com

Jerry C. Alexander of Dallas selected State Bar of Texas board chair-elect

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 10:58

Jerry C. Alexander

Jerry C. Alexander was selected chair-elect of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors during the board’s meeting in Georgetown on Friday. Alexander will take office during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting to be held June 13-14 in Austin. He will serve as chair until June 2020.

Alexander is president of Passman & Jones, P.C. in Dallas having joined the firm in 1972, the same year he earned his J.D. from Southern Methodist University. Alexander has handled complex business litigation for more than 30 years in the areas of antitrust, business torts, patents, trade secrets, unfair competition, and labor-related business issues.

He has served on the State Bar Board of Directors since 2017 and on the Law Focused Education Committee from 2007 to 2009. He served in several leadership positions for the Dallas Bar Association, including as its president in 2016. He was chair of the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors in 2012, led a project to revise Dallas County’s Local Rules of Practice, and chaired the Dallas Bar’s Vision 2020 Project, among other service work.

State Bar board to meet Friday in Georgetown

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 13:06

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors will hold its quarterly meeting Friday, April 26 in Georgetown.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Georgetown Sheraton Hotel, 1101 Woodlawn Ave., San Gabriel Ballroom E.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Click here to view the meeting agenda and materials.

DVAP hosts free legal clinics for Dallas County residents in May

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 09:00

The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, an initiative of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, is hosting 11 free legal clinics for county residents who meet financial guidelines. The clinics, which will be held throughout May, will offer legal advice and consultation in civil matters.

Applicants are asked to bring proof of income, identification, and legal papers. For more information, go to dallasvolunteerattorneyprogram.org. For media inquiries, contact DVAP Director Michelle Alden at (214) 243-2234.

Clinics begin at 5 p.m., with the exception of the veteran’s clinic, which begins at 1:30 p.m.

Schedules and locations:

East Dallas (Grace United Methodist Church—4105 Junius St., Dallas 75246)

  • Thursdays—May 2 and May 16

South Dallas (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center—2922 MLK Blvd., Dallas 75215)

  • Tuesdays—May 7, May 14, and May 28

West Dallas (2828 Fish Trap Rd., Dallas 75212)

  • Thursdays—May 9 and May 23

Garland (Salvation Army—451 W. Avenue D, Garland 75040)

  • Thursday—May 16

Friendship West Baptist Church (2020 West Wheatland Rd., Dallas 75232)

  • Wednesday—May 15

St. Phillip’s Community Center (1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Dallas 75215)

  • Tuesday—May 21

Veterans Resource Center (for veterans and their families only—4900 S. Lancaster Rd., Dallas 75216)—1:30 p.m.

  • Friday—May 3

 

To view a list of other free veteran legal clinics around the state, please go to the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans website at texasbar.com/veterans.

 

Free legal clinic for veterans in Lake Jackson

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 17:44

Veterans in need of legal advice can visit a free clinic put on by the Veterans Legal Initiative, a coalition providing pro bono legal services to U.S. veterans that includes the Brazoria County Bar Association, the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and the Houston Bar Foundation.

The clinic takes place Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m to noon at the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic, 208 Oak Drive S., Lake Jackson 77566.

Volunteer attorneys will be available to offer any veteran or spouse of a deceased veteran advice and counsel in any area of law, including family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate law, and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits. Those who qualify for legal aid and are in need of legal representation may be assigned a pro bono attorney to handle their case.

For more information, contact the Veterans Legal Initiative at (713) 759-1133 or go to hba.org.

To view a list of other free veteran legal clinics around the state, please go to the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans website at texasbar.com/veterans.

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